Hannity falsely claims Bush did not play golf while country was at war

During a segment in which Sean Hannity and his guests declared that President Obama was “out of touch” with the American people, Hannity stated that former President Bush “did not play golf while this country was at war” and that Bush “seemed to be far more in touch” with the country than Obama. In fact, Bush did play golf while the country was at war, as evidenced by 2002 video of him denouncing a terrorist attack, then telling reporters, “watch this drive,” before swinging at a golf ball; additionally, although Bush later declared that he gave up golf in 2003, he took up the hobby of biking.

Hannity: Bush “did not play golf while this country was at war”

During a panel discussion on the February 3 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Bush White House communications director Nicolle Wallace asserted that Obama is “out of touch with what's going on, on the streets of this country.” At the end of the segment, Hannity stated: “George Bush, who you worked for, did not play golf while this country was at war. ... [H]e didn't want the families of loved ones serving -- or that may have lost a loved one -- seeing him on a golf course. He seemed to be far more in touch.”

Video captured Bush playing golf in 2002

Bush: “Now watch this drive.” On August 4, 2002 -- several months after the United States began bombing Afghanistan -- Bush was filmed speaking to reporters on the golf course. Immediately after denouncing a suicide bombing in Israel, Bush said: “Now watch this drive,” then took a swing.

Bush gave up golf; took up biking. On May 13, 2008, Politico reported that Bush said he gave up golf in August 2003, quoting him saying: “I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf. ... I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.” However, as The Washington Post reported, “Although Bush says he has given up golf, he is a mountain-biking enthusiast who has been photographed taking part in rides. He took up biking after an injury sidelined him from running.” Bush was also seen playing golf in October 2003, as a video MSNBC aired shows.